A few years ago, I eagerly explored Belgium. As I walked the cobblestoned streets of Brussels and toured the waterfront of Bruges, I was drawn to the intricate architecture, impeccable food, and freshly brewed beer. And then there was the chocolate -- handmade, exquisite chocolates that just begged to be tasted. I quickly realized it’s impossible to leave Belgium without buying chocolate!
The Tantalizing History
Belgium is known for their magnificent and unforgettable chocolate. It all started with the colonial era in which African plantations became a source of cocoa beans for Belgium. This early connection led Belgium to experiment with cocoa beans long before other countries had the chance. Thus, Belgium began to make high quality chocolates and became known for their delectable sweets.
Due to Belgium’s extensive talent with engineering and systems, an innovative process was created for cocoa beans. The beans were ground up extremely thin so that the chocolate was extra smooth and creamy. Then, in 1912, Jean Neuhaus invented the cold shell of chocolate called a praline. This newfangled approach allowed chocolate to be filled with a variety of flavors, such as coffee, fruit, nuts, or different kinds of chocolate. For the first time, chocolate had an immensely complex flavor full of surprises. To this day, Belgium chocolates have ornate flavors and a deep richness.
Belgium’s geographic location is ultimately conducive to their prosperous chocolate industry. Because the country is located in the center of Europe, Belgium has numerous travelers passing through to major European cities. Along the way, these visitors are sure to stop in Belgium to pick up some famous chocolate (like I did!)
In distinctive European quaintness, Belgium chocolate makers have little shops that have been passed down to generations over the years. Most of the chocolate is made by hand rather than by large equipment. You can try truffles and pralines in various mouth-watering shapes and flavors. Much like the country’s architecture, Belgium chocolate is carefully crafted and painstakingly perfected. This creates a charm and a history that is hard to resist. If you ever have an opportunity to visit Europe, be sure to visit Belgium to see what the fuss is all about!
Are you a big Belgium chocolate fan? Comment below!